The Oklahoma City Thunder have all the momentum as they entertain the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, Wednesday May 16th, in Game 2 of their Western Conference second-round encounter. OKC showed no rust in the opener against the Lakers, cruising to a 119-90 home victory. NBA oddsmakers have the Thunder as -7.5 point home favorites over the Lakers with the over/under set at 191.5 points. Be sure to check the Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder Game 1 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the game tips-off.
LA’s (4-4, 1-3 V) Andrew Bynum led the Lakers with 20 points and 14 rebounds, and Kobe Bryant also netted 20 points, but Los Angeles was already looking forward to Game 2 by the time the fourth quarter rolled around. Pau Gasol, coming off a 23-point, 17-rebound performance in Game 7 vs. Denver, finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in just under 30 minutes.
“The one thing we have to do, we have to make sure that we give multiple efforts when we’re defending the pick-and-roll,” Coach Brown said on Tuesday. “They do a great job of sprinting out to the ball screen and creating separation. We’ve got to run with them and we’ve got to make sure that we affect the ball at the point of the screen as opposed for waiting for the ball to come to us.”
“We’re a team that doesn’t get down,” Bryant said. “We’ve been blown out a bunch of times this season, blown out last series a couple times, but we’re used to dealing with that.” Asked how the Lakers could match Oklahoma City’s energy. “You can’t,” he finally said. “You just accept that. It’s not a big deal. We don’t worry about matching their energy. We just think about slowing them down and playing our style.”
OKC (5-0, 3-0 H) led by as many as 35 in Monday’s rout thanks to 53 percent shooting and productive games by their All-Star duo and Sixth Man of the Year. Russell Westbrook totaled 27 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, while Kevin Durant added 25 points and eight boards for Oklahoma City, which also got 17 points off the bench from James Harden.
On the injury front, OKC center Kendrick Perkins, an unheralded player who is a great screen setter and interior defender, aggravated a strained muscle in his right hip during Game 1 and will be a game-time decision on Wednesday. “He is as tough as they come and he wants to play, but if he’s not ready to play, we won’t play him,” Brooks said.
These teams are very familiar with each other, having played three times during the regular season. Oklahoma City won the first two contests by 15 points (at Chesapeake Energy Arena) and nine (Staples Center) before the Lakers rebounded to win the final meeting in Hollywood by eight in double- overtime.
The Bottom Line: The Lakers are capable of covering this game, but a win might be asking too much. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best NBA Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get NBA Picks Free!
Recent Trends to Consider:
Favorite is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
Lakers are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Oklahoma City.
Lakers are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Lakers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points.
Lakers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. loss.
Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Conference Semifinals games.
Lakers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5.
Lakers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 playoff games as an underdog.
Lakers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Conference Semifinals games.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder
When: Wednesday, May 16th@9:30 PM EST
Pick: Thunder -8
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the tip-off.